HistoryThe following page gives a snapshot of the evolution of Pennine Magpie since it was established in 1996. The organisation has changed greatly over time - from an early focus on recycling activities to the current training and development platform that exists today.
Established in 1996 as a not-for-profit social enterprise, Pennine Magpie was a ground breaking organisation in Calderdale. It's aim was to divert trade waste, manufacturing off-cuts and office surplus products from the landfill stream. Waste was collected from donor premises and, in the case of paper, sold for recycling to a local paper mill. Other carefully selected waste was made available as creative arts and play material to local early years educational and child care organisations through the provision of a scrap for play store.
The Scrap-for-Play Store
A prime benefit of the Scrap-for-Play scheme was in connection with the education on sustainability and environmental awareness. Through scheme participation a large group of young people learnt about the value and potential of materials which had been regarded as waste by conventional standards. The waste paper scheme itself proved to be unsustainable due to fluctuations in the value of waste paper as a commodity and the high collection and processing costs.
At the outset, Pennine Magpie was managed by a small committee of volunteers, and relied heavily on grant funding via several grant awarding bodies including ESF, ENTRUST, B&Q. The organisation employed three members of staff and relied heavily on volunteers and committee members giving freely of their time and resources. The chairman at the time acted as an unpaid van driver using his own vehicle.
Early in its development the organisation began to offer a small number of training placements to people with learning difficulties. The placements were informal and offered a safe and supportive environment where people could gain confidence and learn basic vocational skills without the conventional work pressures required in such an organisation. The scene was set for Pennine Magpie to develop into the organisation that we see today.